You don’t have to be overweight or obese to have belly fat. And even if you’re not overweight, it’s common to have a little extra fat around your midsection. But if you want to lose weight and improve the health of your heart and blood vessels, cutting back on belly fat can help.
The good news is that certain foods may help trim down what’s known as visceral adipose tissue (VAT), which surrounds internal organs like the liver, pancreas and intestines. That’s because these foods contain fiber and nutrients that may help block some of the harmful effects of visceral fat—and they might also burn calories faster than other types of food do!
Best and Worst Foods for Belly Fat
- Best Foods for Belly Fat
- Nuts (not peanuts)
- Green tea
- Lean beef and chicken breast
- Eggs (limit to two per day) * * * Avoid foods containing sugar, wheat, or dairy products. These can lead to weight gain and bloating.
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Berries are an excellent source of fiber, which helps you feel full and even lowers your blood sugar levels. They’re also high in antioxidants like anthocyanins, quercetin and resveratrol—all powerful compounds that protect your heart and brain.
Berries are rich in vitamins C and K, which help keep your bones strong by promoting calcium absorption. They’re also rich in anti-inflammatory properties that may help ease pain associated with arthritis or gouty arthritis (a type of joint inflammation).
And finally, many berries have anti-cancer properties thanks to their high antioxidant content: Blueberries contain ellagic acid—an antioxidant thought to be especially effective against breast cancer—and strawberries contain pterostilbene—another promising antioxidant thought to reduce the risk of prostate cancer by slowing cell growth in the prostate gland.
Best: Citrus Fruits
- Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps fight free radicals, which can damage your body’s cells and increase the risk of cancer. Eating citrus fruits may also reduce the risk of cataracts, which are associated with age-related vision loss.
- Citrus fruits are low in calories. One medium orange has just 60 calories and 7 grams of fiber, making it one of the best vegetables for promoting weight loss because they fill you up without adding extra calories to your daily intake. They’re also high in water content and contain very few carbohydrates or fat—making them an ideal choice if you’re trying to lose belly fat fast!
Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fat, which has been shown to help keep your belly flat. They’re also a good source of fiber and potassium. Avocados are also high in vitamins B, C, and K. In addition to all this nutritional goodness, avocados have one more advantage over other foods: They don’t contain any added sugar.
In fact, avocados contain the same amount of potassium as bananas! This is important because low levels of potassium can lead to bloating and water retention—the very things you want to avoid when trying to lose weight!
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Best: Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are the best food for belly fat. They’re low in calories, high in vitamins and minerals and they have a lot of fiber. Leafy greens also contain a lot of water which helps keep you hydrated and full longer so you don’t overeat when it comes to other foods.
Leafy greens also contain a lot of antioxidants that help fight free radicals that are known to damage our DNA contributing to cancer risks as well as premature aging signs like wrinkles on our face or age spots on our hands caused by sun exposure over time being less effective at repairing them than younger healthy skin cells could do if we had not been exposed too long without sunscreen protection
before getting older through time passing by faster than expected due to accelerated aging processes caused by constant stress levels caused by working hard every day trying really hard not just once but twice since there’s always someone else who works harder than me so I have no choice but try really hard all day long almost every day if not every single day sometimes even every week sometimes even month because there’s always something new happening around here with new challenges coming up all year long which means we need some kind of reward system for all those times when things go wrong sometimes so
Best: Salmon, Tuna, and Other Fatty Fish
A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce belly fat. Omega 3’s are found in salmon and tuna, but also other types of fish that contain less mercury like herring or sardines.
Since omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation and promote weight loss, they’re a must-have for anyone hoping to trim their midsection. However, eating more than two servings per day of some types of fatty fish can increase your risk for mercury poisoning (a common danger associated with large amounts of seafood). So make sure you’re eating the right amount before you start stocking up on salmon fillets!
Best: Peanut and Almond Butter
Peanut and almond butter are two of the most nutritious spreads you can eat. Both are good sources of protein; peanut butter is also rich in vitamin E, magnesium and zinc. Almond butter contains fiber, which helps you feel full longer. These ingredients can be used in smoothies or as spreads on toast.
Donuts, pastries and other sweet desserts are high in sugar, which can lead to weight gain and diabetes.
Worst: Refined Grains (White Bread, Pasta, Rice)
White bread, pasta and rice are common in many diets because they’re easy to make and cheap. But those qualities don’t make them healthy. They are made from refined grains that contain very little fiber, so they provide a lot of calories and not much else.
Remember that whole grain foods are always better for you than processed or refined ones. Whole grains contain lots of fiber, which helps keep your belly full longer so you end up eating less overall throughout the day. Plus, fiber can help lower cholesterol levels!
To replace white breads with healthier options: try whole wheat bread or pita pockets at the grocery store instead of white bread; choose brown rice over white rice; get pastas made from 100% whole wheat flour instead of regular ones; use quinoa as an alternative to rice or pasta dishes (it has more protein than most other grains).
Worst Butter or Margarine
There’s no question that butter is unhealthy. It’s high in saturated fat, cholesterol and calories, not to mention the other components that come with dairy products like milk, cheese and ice cream. Margarine has been touted as a lower-calorie alternative to butter but it’s still chock-full of trans fat (which can increase your risk of heart disease). A small amount of margarine—like two teaspoons—is fine every once in a while if you’re eating something fatty like French fries. But remember: Butter is better for you than margarine by far!
Worst Red Meat (Bacon, Steak)
Red meat is the worst kind of meat for your belly fat. It’s high in saturated fat, cholesterol and calories. Red meat can raise your cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease.
Worst – Saturated Fats (Fried Foods)
It’s no surprise that fried foods are bad for you. But what you may not have known is that they’re especially bad for your belly. Fried foods have high amounts of saturated fat, which is linked to heart disease and stroke, as well as diabetes and obesity.
And even if you manage to avoid consuming trans fat by buying only foods labeled “0g Trans Fat” at the grocery store (which is never a guarantee), you’re still getting another form of unhealthy fat from deep-fried food: saturated fat.
Saturated fats are found mostly in animal products such as meat, eggs and dairy—but also in some plant oils like coconut oil and palm oil. They raise your risk for developing cardiovascular disease by raising levels of LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) in your blood stream while lowering HDL cholesterol (the good kind).
If there’s one thing that all these foods have in common besides being terrible for your health and waistline, it’s their high sodium content—fried chicken has more than 1/2 teaspoon per serving!
More foods to eat than not.
You’re probably wondering what you should be eating, right? Here are some of the best foods to eat:
- Chicken or turkey breast (limit processed deli meats)
And here are some of the worst foods to eat:
- Potato chips (and other salty snacks)
- Ice cream/sugary desserts (indulging occasionally is OK)
As you can see, there’s a lot of food to choose from that will help you lose weight and belly fat. The key is to eat more of the good stuff and less of the bad stuff.